CDCR Native American Spiritual Leader with Purpose –
Native American Day allows applicants to learn more about CDCR
As Native American tribes gathered to celebrate their shared heritage and culture, CDCR staff were on hand to answer questions about the department’s work.
Michael Hermann is one of many spiritual leaders coming from all faiths to guide inmates at a CDCR facility. Hermann is a Native American spiritual leader who works at the Sierra Conservation Center. He started at the Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI). Between the two institutions, he has been with CDCR for eight years. Before being hired full-time, he volunteered for a year at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla.
For anyone considering a career as a CDCR chaplain/Native American spiritual leader, Hermann encourages them to do the same.
“Before I started entering the institution, I only knew about prisons from movies or TV,” he said. “The biggest surprise was that most of those who serve a sentence are just people who made mistakes in life.”
When people volunteer first, it helps them understand the culture and unique needs of providing spiritual guidance in a prison setting, he said.
As a spiritual leader, Hermann said his job was to help people get back on the so-called Red Road.
“The Red Road is the term we use in Native American culture to mean living better lives and making healthier choices. Sometimes poor life choices take people off the Red Road and I help them get back on track,” he said. “We pick people up from where they are now, not where they were in the past.”
At the start of the event, Hermann purged two CDCR recruiters with sage and cedar smoke, an act referred to as incense.
“It keeps the bad spirits out and invites the good spirits in,” he said.
Soon a small queue formed at the booth with others wanting to be smeared.
Recruiters discuss CDCR job openings
At the CDCR recruitment booth, Crysta Peele and Corina Zamora answered questions and provided information on career opportunities. Peele is the Division Manager for CDCR Recruitment and Career Services, while Zamora is the Recruitment and Inclusion Analyst.
“We’ve had a good turnout so far,” Zamora said.
Peele said people were surprised to learn there was a variety of positions.
“They’re really excited to see that it’s not just custody positions,” she said.
Many other state agencies had recruitment booths at the event, from the California Conservation Corps to CHP and the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Open house career event on September 28th
CDCR is hosting an open house on Wednesday, September 28 from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm at the Enterprise Information Services (EIS) campus, 1940 Birkmont Drive in Rancho Cordova. The event will help job seekers learn more about the department, job opportunities and navigating the government service.
EIS will also offer same-day tests and interviews for IT staff and specialists.
Reserve for the open house.
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